*Don't see your network listed? We want to hear about it! Tell us all about your network here.
New Connecticut Farmer Alliance
The New Connecticut Farmer Alliance brings together emerging farmers from across CT to network, share resources, and identify common challenges and opportunities for a more accessible, successful, and diverse agricultural community.
In the summer of 2010 a small group of farmers began lamenting the lack of connection between new and emerging farmers. They decided to create a network to provide support, resource sharing, inspiration and energy. It was formed to connect this next generation of farmers across the lines of organic, conventional, first generation to seventh, from dairy, meat and vegetable producers. The New CT Farmer Alliance is for people who are farming in CT as their primary occupation.
Join us! There is no membership required, no fees or dues, and no secret password. We are an all volunteer network, just show up, speak up, share, and make friends! The Alliance is organized by a volunteer Steering Committee that meets throughout the year to organize events and shape networking opportunities. The Steering Committee operates on the principle of cooperative leadership. If you are interested in being part of the leadership team then contact us!
We host a listerve to share resources, questions and farming conversation. We also meet throughout the year for farm tours, meetings, and informal social networking. Help us GROW into the voice of the NEW CT farmer. Let’s strengthen the fabric of CT agriculture! Contact: To get in touch, email us newctfarmers
@gmail.com, visit our website www.newctfarmers.com, and join our listserve: tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/newctfarmers
C.R.A.F.T. in Western Connecticut
Our goal is to promote: (1) Training of farm workers and apprentices in the craft of small scale agriculture and horticulture with emphasis on food production. (2) Exchange of ideas among farm people. (3) Community of farmers, farm workers, and others who are interested in local agriculture. Contact: Megan Haney 860 927-0020; marblevalleyfarm
@gmail.com; Marble Valley Farm, 170 Kent Road, Kent, CT. Visit our website: www.bloomingfieldsfarm.com/cft_frameindex.html
Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts
We are a collaborative network of farmers and farm service providers dedicated to beginning farmer success in MA. The BFN website features a blog with useful advice, resource finder and resource map, a statewide calendar of events, and profiles of successful farmers in MA.
Eastern Massachusetts C.R.A.F.T.
From April through October farmers, farm workers and apprentices from CRAFT farms gather at one farm for a visit and/or workshop. Each visit includes an overview of the farm as well as a discussion about one or two specific topics. CRAFT discussions are also scheduled November through March if there is sufficient interest. Topics that have been discussed at past events include accessing land, beekeeping, soil fertility, weed management, hiring and labor management, pricing and more.
“CRAFT is a free, collaborative group. There is no membership, no bylaws, no heirarchy, no fees. No one “owns” CRAFT and the group is responsible to and for itself. There’s nothing to buy, no marketing strategy, no overhead. We are here in the simplest possible terms to educate, support, and train one another because we believe the sharing information and skills is the best farm insurance policy.” Verena Wieloch, Gaining Ground. Contact: visit our website emasscraft.org/wordpress and subscribe to our email list
C.R.A.F.T. - Western Mass/Eastern NY (Hudson Valley, Berkshires, and Pioneer Valley)
We are the original Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) group initiated in 1994. C.R.A.F.T. is a cooperative effort of local organic and biodynamic farms organized to enhance educational opportunities for farm apprentices largely through farm visits.
Farm Visits -From April through October apprentices from all participating farms gather at one farm for a visit and/or workshop. There are 11 visits over the season on Saturday mornings or Monday afternoons. Each visit includes an overview of the farm as well as a hands-on demonstration of one or two specific topics. Mid-season one of the farms hosts a mid-summer party and social. At the end of the season there is a final meeting to discuss possible next steps to help apprentices get closer to farming on their own. We hope to:
-Give a broader experience to interns than they can receive on their farm alone.
-Provide a peer base to help interns connect with others who share similar goals.
-Increase the skill base in sustainable agriculture.
C.R.A.F.T. also maintains a listserve that helps farmers communicate, seek and give advice, and set up bulk orders and equipment sharing. Contact: Elizabeth Keen elizabeth
@indianlinefarm.com or visit http://craftfarmapprentice.com/
Merrimack Valley Farmers Network (Massachusetts and New Hampshire)
Our goal is to bring together farmers in the Merrimack Valley. We plan to have our first gathering in early May 2012, a potluck/picnic at Fat Moon at Meadowbrook Farm in Westford, MA. This informal gathering will be an opportunity for farmers to socialize and network with other farmers in the region. Contact: Elizabeth Almeida, Fat Moon, elizabeth
Young Farmer Nights (southeastern Mass and Rhode Island)
Starting in 2011 young and beginning farmers in Southeastern MA and RI got together every other Tuesday evening during the summer season for a series of events called Young Farmer Nights. The idea behind the Young Farmer Nights (YFN) is to build a community of young farmers, farm interns, and folks interested in food/farming in the southern New England area. We see each other at conferences and events, but rarely spend time together or see the amazing work we are all doing.
YFN are a way for us all to get to see and learn from one another and get off our own farms for an evening. The model for each event (which move around to different farms in the area) is: to eat dinner together (usually potluck style), have a farm related activity (e.g.tour the fields or give a presentation on something that works well on your farm), and hang out (e.g. bonfire or play cards).
The YFNs are meant to be a jumping off place for us to form a community. Last season the connections and friends made at YFN led to collaboration such as: tool borrowing/trading, brainstorming on pest management, a shared YFN booth at the Brown University Farmer's Market, and crop-mob style intern visit days on other farms (to help get big projects done and let interns experience a different style of farming). These are just a few examples of what great things can come from having a stronger community of farmers who can work together to overcome the unique challenges of being a young or beginning farmer in this area. Contact: Margiana Petersen-Rockney, margilala
Merrimack Valley Farmers Network (See posting under Masssachusetts)
Tri-State CRAFT (See posting under Pennsylvania)
C.R.A.F.T. - Western Mass/Eastern NY (See posting under Masssachusetts)
The Lower Hudson Craft program is based on the Western Massachusetts/Eastern New York CRAFT program that was formed in 1994. Participants visit a host farm for a tour, a talk or demonstration on a specific topic. These visits to other farms offer farmers-in-training a chance to see how different operations work, to develop practical skills and to network with other farmers and farm interns. Interns at Lower-Hudson farms are also invite to attend the meetings of the Mid-Hudson CRAFT group, greatly increasing the opportunities for learning! Find the schedule here: www.mobiusfields.com/craft.html
Mid-Hudson Growers Network
We are a group dedicated to networking, community, and education for farmers in the Mid-Hudson Valley. We have an active listserv which provides a forum to arrange bulk orders, sell or request extras, solicit advice. We have also organized farm tours in the past. Contact: Matt Elkin, matt.c.elkin
@gmail.com, 845-399-5066. Click here to read a brief profile.
Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition
We believe in the transformative potential of small business, local agriculture and cooperation to build a durable and prosperous agricultural economy in the Hudson Valley and beyond.
We are coming together to better understand the needs of young and beginning farmers in this region and to address and advocate for those needs.*
We work together on building collaborative infrastructure, mobilizing to shift regional and national farm policy, increasing access to resources (land, grants and loans, healthcare), consolidating information and creating spaces where young farmers from all backgrounds can share, learn and gather. For more information about upcoming workshops and campaigns, or how to get in touch, visit our website www.youngfarmers.org/hudsonvalley
Finger Lakes C.R.A.F.T.
The Finger Lakes CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is a community of established and aspiring farmers and homesteaders. This community meets monthly throughout the growing season at each of six CRAFT Mentor Farms to learn about that farm operation, ask lots of questions, share knowledge and network with each other. We also have several potlluck dinners through the season where you can get to know other beginning and established farmers. Visit our webpage: http://ow.ly/jzXLp
Northwestern Pennsylvania Grower's Co-op
Our cooperative is 12 members strong, representing a variety of organic/naturally-raised crops; meats, dairy, grains, produce. We are currently working cooperatively to 'grow' these marketing projects: a 20 -week multifarm CSA, selling cooperatively at farmers markets, selling to institutions, restaurants and natural food stores in our region. We have recently revised our fee structures and membership policies to make it easier for new growers to join us and to thrive in our cooperative environment.
Are you an organic/ natural grower who is interested in joining us? (or just curious about how we operate?) Contact: Lori Sands, NWPAGC Coordinator, tchfrch
@hotmail.com for an overview of our policies and procedures. Thank You! North-West PA Grower’s Co-op. 724-662-1231 http://www.nwpagrowers.com/
Penn's Corner Farm Alliance (southwestern PA)
Penn's Corner Farm Alliance is a farmer cooperative in Southwestern Pennsylvania. As a group of more than 30 member farms, we deliver fruits, vegetables, and other farm food products to customers in the Pittsburgh area through our Community Supported Agriculture program, online pre-order Farm Stands, and our Wholesale deliveries. Contact: Neil Stauffer, 412-363-1971 and visit http://pennscorner.com/
Pennsylvania Women's Ag Network
The Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN) supports women in agriculture by providing positive learning environments, networking, and empowerment opportunities. PA-WAgN offers on-farm education, hands-on workshop, conferences, networking opportunities, mentoring, and online information sharing tools. Contact: Patricia Neiner, prn103
Tri-State CRAFT (southeaster PA, NJ)
Tri-State CRAFT is a project of Greener Partners. Tri-State CRAFT is a community of established and aspiring farmers, dedicated to support the next generation of farmers and their mentors, by:
(1) Providing a series of field days at mentor farms and other farms of interest in the region. Apprentices will be exposed to many diverse farm models that will inform their choices as they pursue a career in agriculture.
(2) Providing additional theory based content in classroom/workshop setting on agrarian sciences to the CRAFT curriculum;
(3) The establishment of a regional farmer-mentor network. The Farmer mentors will participate in a Farmer-to-Farmer steering committee- intended to oversee and evaluate the program curriculum and monitor its’ primary objectives and success;
(4) The creation of a tool swap and resource library available to all apprentices at The Longview Center for Agriculture;
(5) Opportunities for socializing and community building through potlucks and our annual Farmer Showdown event in November.
Contact: 610-584-8204, visit us online www.tristatecraft.org or on Facebook
Westmoreland County Beekeeper's Association (southwestern PA)
Beekeeper's group serving Westmoreland, Allegheny, Fayette and Washington Counties. Contact: Tim Komar, 724-238-2104 or Lisa Laskow, lisa.laskow
Rutland Area Farm and Food Link
We host a blog and website with resources to connect farmers to farmers including farm job and internship listings, land opportunities and a farmer mentorship directory. RAFFL partners with area farmers and agriculture experts to organize summer workshops and winter growers’ discussions. Our staff offers one-on-one assistance to help connect farmers with land opportunities, jobs, new markets, and grant opportunities. Contact: info
@rutlandfarmandfood.org, (802) 417-1528, www.rutlandfarmandfood.org/farmers
UVM The Women’s Agricultural Network
Through a series of educational, technical assistance, and networking opportunities, WAgN works to increase the number of women owning and operating profitable farms and ag-related businesses.
In addition to workshops and classes, WAgN facilitates learning circles. These are more casual and generally take the form of a small group discussion around a particular topic of interest such as packaging and labeling, or time management, or organizing your home office. Depending on the topic there may be a guest speaker to help guide the discussion. If you have ideas for topics or would like to explore starting a learning circle in your area contact WAgN for tips on getting started. Contact: wagn
@uvm.edu, (802) 223-2389, www.uvm.edu/wagn
UVM New Farmer Project
We've assembled a wide array of online and on-the-ground resources, from fact sheets and guidebooks to courses, workshops and webinars that are oriented the needs of beginning farmers. And now, we are working even more closely with other Vermont organizations through the Vermont New Farmer Network to connect you with everything you need to create a personalized business development plan.
Part of our website is dedicated to nurturing connections connections among beginning farmers, and more generally between new farmers and more experienced producers, agricultural service providers, land owners, funders, and others. This includes the New Farmer Email list, the Vermont Agriculture Land Access Database (LAD), our classified section (geared to helping beginning and aspiring farmers post and search for items for sale, barter and trade, as well as educational and business opportunities), list of Grant and Loan Opportunities, and the UVM Extension New Farmer Project Blog.
*Don't see your network listed? We want to hear about it! Tell us all about your network here.